U.S., U.K. and Swiss authorities are preparing to levy the first penalties over foreign-exchange manipulation against at least six banks on Wednesday, said people with knowledge of the discussions.
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or FINMA, are planning to issue fines early Wednesday morning, said the people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency might also announce penalties Wednesday, the people said.
Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC Holdings, J.P. Morgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and UBS will be fined between £225 million ($357 million) and £250 million each by the FCA, most likely for failings in their systems and controls, people with knowledge of the talks have said.
Spokesmen for the banks and FINMA declined to comment, while officials at the FCA didn't return calls seeking comment. The timing of the announcement might still slip, the people said.
UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, will also face a monetary sanction from FINMA, one person said. FINMA can confiscate only profits from wrongdoing, rather than fine for conduct.
Investigations have been under way on three continents for about 18 months over allegations dealers at the world's biggest banks traded ahead of clients and colluded to rig benchmarks used by pension funds and money managers to determine what they pay for foreign currencies. The six companies have set aside about $5.3 billion in recent weeks for legal matters, including the currency investigations.
The CFTC might levy fines of about $300 million against firms, depending on the level of their involvement, according to one person. It's unclear how many firms might settle with the CFTC.
Criminal investigations are also under way, and prosecutors in the U.S. are pressing to bring charges against a bank this year, and against individuals next year, people with knowledge of those probes have said.